After the speech to the Commons on Monday, May was left with 48 hours until the make-or-break summit dinner on Wednesday night with the EU leaders to convince her peers to accept her deal on Brexit, scheduled for March 29, 2019.
May had already spoken with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Dutch PM Mark Rutte, according to the UK government, as part of the negotiation process over the Northern Ireland border backstop proposal, The Guardian reported.
"We were actually pretty hopeful that we would manage to seal an exit agreement … at the moment, it looks a bit more difficult again," Merkel said, speaking to the German Foreign Trade Federation. She also noted that a breakthrough is still possible but it demands "quite a bit of finesse and if we aren’t successful this week, we’ll just have to keep negotiating."
The situation demanded that May address the UK House of Commons, with a statement noting that the EU’s plans to create a customs border in the Irish Sea "threatens the integrity of our United Kingdom."
"The EU still requires a ‘backstop to the backstop’ – effectively an insurance policy for the insurance policy. And they want this to be the Northern Ireland-only solution that they had previously proposed," May told MPs on Monday.
"I need to be able to look the British people in the eye and say this backstop is a temporary solution," she added, noting that people are rightly concerned that this temporary decision could become permanent.
Jeremy Corbyn, the opposition leader, urged May to “put the country before her party” and stand up to the “reckless voices.” He commented that “it is clear that the prime minister’s failure to stand up to the warring factions of her own side has led to this impasse.”